Library Approval Ratings


Public libraries play an important role in our communities. According to a Library Services Survey, some 94 percent of Americans say that having a public library improves a community and that the local library is a “welcoming, friendly place;” incredible approval ratings for any U.S. public institution.

• 95% agree that resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed;
• 95% say that public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading;
• 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community;
• 81% say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere.

Read for Pleasure


Past research has found that reading for pleasure is linked to better overall satisfaction with life, higher incomes, healthier relationships (lower divorce rates), and better mental health. Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers.


New research from the Institute of Education (IOE) examines the effect of reading for pleasure on cognitive development over time. Children who read for pleasure made more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of 10 and 16 than those who rarely read. Reading for pleasure was found to be more important for children's cognitive development between ages 10 and 16 than their parents' level of education.


Results of a recent study commissioned by Environics Research Group to gather data about the pleasure reading habits of Canadians reveal a high population of passionate readers still very engaged with traditional reading platforms. Books are the overwhelmingly preferred medium, with 70% of readers preferring them to magazines, newspapers, and blogs.


During the past several years, studies like Reading at Risk and To Read or Not to Read have addressed a growing sense of concern about the nearly universal decline in American literacy. Only one-third of 13-year-olds were daily readers and fifty-five percent of people who read below the basic level were unemployed. And only three percent of those in prison could read at a proficient level. Adults' rates of literary reading for pleasure have dropped back to 2002 levels, from 50 percent in 2008 to 47 percent in 2012.


These surveys demonstrate reading’s increasingly precarious position among an unprecedented large variety of electronic entertainment and communication options. On average, Americans spend 2.8 hours per day watching television and seven minutes reading per weekend day. The deciding factor in who reads and who doesn't is not socioeconomic status. It's how many books can be found in a family's home.


Need to make more time for reading? Word Cafe suggests eight ways you can fit reading into your busy schedule:  cut down your TV watching time • Use your lunch hour to leave your desk and read while you eat  • Make it a habit of reading before bedtime • Keep your current read handy in at all times • Designate an hour of reading time with the family •  Join, or start, a book club • Make reading your excuse to get out of the house • Create a reading oasis in your home


LearningExpress Database Upgrade


On January 3, 2014 LearningExpress Library will be moved to an upgraded platform requiring users to re-register their accounts. Work done on the current platform will not be available after the January 3 upgrade. Please finish all coursework before January. The new features included in the upgrade to LearningExpress 3.0 offer improved functionality and content:

  • New and improved site design
  • Easier navigation
  • New interactive tutorials
  • Multiple test modes for study and practice
  • Recommendations for additional study

LearningExpress Library is a collection of web-based test preparation tools and skill-building materials for children, teens, and adults. Improve your academic skills, achieve educational goals, and prepare for careers with LearningExpress Library!

Library Friends Groups

United for Libraries has made available a free toolkit for a public library friends groups. "Libraries Need Friends: Starting a Friends Group or Revitalizing the One You Have" includes tips on membership, outreach, fundraising and more.


With the serious decline of government support for libraries in recent years, raising money from private sources has never been more important.  Organizing a Friends group with key volunteers for library events and programs, donor clubs, and fundraising has worked effectively to find and secure vitally needed funds. Recruit enthusiastic patrons who use the library on a regular basis and people in the community representing businesses that can sponsor library projects and programs.

Trustee Tip Sheets

The following Trustee Tip Sheets are provided by The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations:

1. The Role of Library Trustees 2. The Role of the Friends Board 3. Mission Statements 4. Sample Memorandum of Understanding 5. Library Support for Friends Activities 6. Evaluating the Library Director 7. Governing Library Boards vs. Advisory Library Boards: Which are Better? 8. When Friends Aren't Friendly 9. Trustee Competencies 1. How to Chair a Committee 11. Twelve Golden Rules for Board Members

Library Story Hour Programs

Story times are not only fun, but improve school readiness, vocabulary development, motivation to read, narrative awareness, phonological awareness, and print awareness. These programs change children's literacy behaviors at home and parent's literacy interactions with their children.


A report commissioned by the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries highlights a number of important ways story programs impact participants. The programs increase children's engagement with books, words, and tools for writing and illustration, and improve development of social skills and listening skills.


The American Library Association provides research and statistics to support a significant relationship between children's services in public libraries and early reading success at school. Young children disproportionately affected by the achievement gap can especially benefit from opportunities to use public libraries.

Wisconsin Library Association Conference

The 2013 Annual Conference held October 22-25 at the Hyatt on Main and KI Convention Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin is an opportunity to learn new ways to stay up-to-date, innovate. This year’s theme is “Play. Create. Innovate!” with more than 90 sessions across nine simultaneous tracks: Back to the Book; Collections: Building, Sharing, Transforming; Innovation & Creative Collaboration; Library Issues & Challenges; Advocacy & Promotion; Programming & Instruction; Technology & Digital Services; Engaging People; and Leadership & Personal Development. For more details about sessions, speakers, and registration visit WLA and the conference FAQ. Early-bird rates end October 4, so visit and register today!


Program Handouts

View program handouts from the conference presenters.

Pre-conference sessions 

  • Becoming a Drum Major for Change: Creating & Inspiring Leadership in Your Libraries
  • Play & Read: Early Literacy in Libraries

Featured presenters:

  • Chip Kidd, author, editor, designer – known for book jacket design
  • Sergio Dogliani & The Idea Store, innovating library services in the UK 
  • Jarrett Krosoczka, author of Punk Farm, Baghead, Lunch Lady graphic novels and more! 
  • Deborah Blum, author of the critically acclaimed The Poisoner's Handbook
  • Michael Perry, author of bestselling memoirs Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop and Visiting Tom

Special events: a silent auction fundraiser, networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall with currently over 60 vendors showcasing library products and services.


Social events:

  • Tailgate Party 
  • Lambeau Field Tour 
  • Librarians Rock! WLAF Fundraiser (karaoke)
  • Morning Yoga Session 
  • Tour of the Oneida Community Library
  • Weidener Center for the Performing Arts Tour
  • Bring It: Banned Books Read-In Celebrating Multicultural Literature
  • Battledecks/Craftdecks 
  • Pub Crawl 
  • Bookin' It 5K Fun Run

New Advocacy Power Guide

The Citizens-Save-Libraries Power Guide is a new step-by-step resource for generating an advocacy campaign with a set of strategies for gaining library support. Resources include examples of fact sheets, talking points, flyers, petitions, and promotional materials used by public libraries. Additional resources include data, articles, tools, and tips for promoting the value of your library.

Merlin and BadgerLink Upgrades

Recently both the Merlin library catalog and the BadgerLink discovery database have been renovated to provide users with the same great content but with new features and improved display and navigation.

The Merlin renovation added new features to accommodate self registration, online fee payments, online library donations, and improved support for screen readers to better increase accessibility.

The new BadgerLink website showcases a responsive design that gives users multiple paths to finding information including the ability to browse resources by subject, formate, or user group - on any device. BadgerLink training resources are available and a Website Introduction webinar series is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on September 26.